March 27th, 2009 | Published in Google Open Source
Dmitri Gaskin speaking at DrupalCon DC, photo by kcolwell
Hello World! I'm Dmitri Gaskin, I'm 13 years old, and a Drupal Developer. I was a mentor for the Google Highly Open Participation™ Contest in late 2007 (I was too young to actually participate in the contest, having just turned 12), a mentor for Google Summer of Code™ in 2008 , and will return to mentor Google Summer of Code in 2009.
Drupal is a Content Management System with an awesome community behind it. I've been a member of the Drupal community for a bit over 3 years. I've written patches for Drupal core (what you get when you get when you download "Drupal") and for many modules (Drupalspeak for "add-ons"). I've built some small sites with Drupal, but I usually contribute back more that I actually use it and that's fine by me - with such an amazing community, contributing is fun.
Earlier this month, Google's Open Source team sponsored my attendance at DrupalCon DC. DrupalCon is Drupal's official twice-yearly conference. This year was amazing! With over 1400 people and over 100 sessions, it was the largest DrupalCon ever. I presented a session on jQuery and co-presented sessions on Installation Profiles and the Intro to SimpleTest. Probably the best part of the conference for me was meeting so many people in person who I had only known over IRC or in Drupal's Issue Queues.
I attended sessions on a variety of subjects, including API building, semantic web, and usability testing, among other things. I even managed to squeeze some time in to practice the piano at the University of D.C. One theme I noticed during the conference (however I was one of the first to talk about it at the conference so it may be partially my fault) was how to improve the install system of Drupal. The current system is less than ideal, so we tried to think of ways to fix it (Hint: it's not easy and we still aren't 100% sure of what the best solution is).
Overall, DrupalCon DC was a lot of fun and I'll do all I can to attend the next DrupalCon (although the dates conflict with school and I'll be going to a new school next year). I am really grateful to Google for helping to make it possible for me to attend.